Alonzo W. Phillips Papers
Alonzo W. Phillips was a Union Corporal in Company F of the 15th Massachusetts Volunteers during the American Civil War. The collection includes twelve letters written by Alonzo to his aunt, Hannah Folsom, and one letter to her husband, Simeon. Major topics include military life, the health and affairs of numerous family members, and civilian attitudes toward the war. His letters detail his travels throughout Maryland, his defense of the Potomac River near Poolesville, and the Battle of Ball's Bluff near Leesburg, Virginia. He was discharged due to illness in 1862.
Important Information for Users of the Collection
This collection is open for research.
Alonzo W. Phillips Papers, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries.
Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials policy for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.
This collection is PROCESSED.
Alonzo Washington Phillips was born in Albany, New York, in 1842. He joined the 15th Massachusetts Volunteer infantry on July 12, 1861. He was mustered out of the service on October 6th of 1862 due to a disability, possibly a respiratory ailment contracted during his service.
Phillips wrote many letters to his family, a number of whom lived in or around Detroit, Michigan. The bulk of these letters were written to his aunt, Hannah Folsom, though the collection also includes a single letter to her husband. In his letters, Phillips described life in the army, his travels throughout Maryland, and a firsthand account of the battle of Ball's Bluff. His unit was overrun in that battle, and he escaped capture by swimming across the Potomac River. This may have contributed to Phillips's decline in health which resulted in his discharge from the Union Army.
After the war, he married Ida Cynthia Ladd of Detroit, Michigan, in 1868 and had three children. The family moved to Breckenridge, Colorado, in 1880 where Phillips spent the remainder of his life. Phillips was noted as a very active citizen in the Colorado community, and sat on the county board alongside a Confederate Army veteran, W.H. Hampton, with whom he developed a strong friendship. He died in 1924, at the age of 83.
Scope and Contents of the Collection
The papers of Alonzo W. Phillips are comprised of thirteen letters written between May 9, 1858 and December 11, 1861. Transcriptions of the letters have been provided by Christine M. McClure. All of Phillips's letters were written to his aunt in Detroit, Michigan, with one exception, which was addressed to her husband, Simeon Folsom. Most of these letters were written from Poolesville, Maryland, where Alonzo was encamped for the majority of his enlistment. Topics include military life, the health and affairs of numerous family members, civilian attitudes toward the war, and Phillips's account of the Battle of Ball's Bluff near Leesburg, Virginia.
Custodial History and Acquisition Information
Christine M. McClure donated the papers of the Alonzo W. Phillips to the University of Maryland Libraries in May 2011.
This collection was processed by Trevor Wylie, June 2011.
All materials have been placed in acid-free folders within an acid-free box. Transcriptions included with material were created by collection donor.
EAD marksup created using EAD database in Microsoft Access. Markup completed by Kate Aras, August 2012.
Arrangement of Collection
This collection is organized as one series.
Detailed Description of the Collection
Series 1: Correspondence, 1958-1961 (0.25 linear feet)
This series contains thirteen letters written by Alonzo W. Phillips in 1861, as well as transcriptions created by the donor, Christine M. McClure. All letters are addressed to his aunt, with the exception of the November 26, 1861 letter, which is addressed to Phillips's uncle, Simeon Folsom. Phillips's letters detail camp life, his time garrisoned near the Potomac River, and his feelings on the war. In his November 7, 1861 letter, Alonzo provides a detailed description of what he experienced during the Battle of Ball's Bluff near Leesburg, Virginia.
Arrangement is chronological.
|Description||Series||Box / Reel||Folder / Frame|
|Letter, May 9, 1858||series 1||box 1||folder 1|
|Letter, May 6, 1961||series 1||box 1||folder 2|
|Letter, June 11, 1861||series 1||box 1||folder 3|
|Letter, July 28, 1861||series 1||box 1||folder 4|
|Letter, August 14, 1861||series 1||box 1||folder 5|
|Letter, September 2, 1861||series 1||box 1||folder 6|
|Letter, September 17, 1861||series 1||box 1||folder 7|
|Letter, October 7, 1861||series 1||box 1||folder 8|
|Letter, October 22, 1861||series 1||box 1||folder 9|
|Letter, November 7, 1861||series 1||box 1||folder 10|
|Letter, November 18, 1861||series 1||box 1||folder 11|
|Letter, November 26, 1861||series 1||box 1||folder 12|
|Letter, December 11, 1861||series 1||box 1||folder 13|
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Selected Search Terms
This collection is indexed under the following headings in the University of Maryland Libraries' Catalog. Researchers desiring related materials about these topics, names, or places may search the Catalog using these headings.
- United States - Army - Military Life - History - Sources
- United States - History - Civil War, 1861-1865 - Sources
Names (Added Entries)
- Phillips, Alonzo W. - Archives